Bishop T.D. Jakes has started a new campaign offering free prescription drug discounts that will purportedly give patients up to 75 percent off medications at thousands of pharmacies across the country.
Jakes, who leads The Potters' House in Dallas, Texas, is promoting a pre-activated RxRelief Card that he argues can save struggling families hundreds of dollars a year on prescription medications.
"I am offering a FREE pharmacy discount card to you and your family. This is an opportunity you do not want to miss," the megachurch pastor said in a public letter. "With discounts on virtually every medication sold at over 500,000 pharmacies nationwide the RxRelief Card can save you and your family an average of $400."
In a promotional video for the campaign Jakes says that the negative effects of the economy should not cause families to suffer preventable losses.
"The rising cost of health care and prescription drugs has taken its toll on Americans around the nation. Many families are forced to pick between paying bills and buying household necessities, or purchasing their prescription medicines. I no longer want to see our community succumb to illnesses that could've been avoided had they been able to afford their preventative medications," the pastor said.
An estimated 46.3 million Americans, or 15.4 percent of the population, are currently living without medical insurance, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; however, the pastor makes no mention of health insurance in the video.
In a 2009 interview with CNN's Larry King, Jakes told the television host that the health care system in the United States needed to be reviewed.
"Well, you know, the thing about it, I think that health care in this country really needs to be overhauled," he said. "We have millions of people who are dying of leukemia and diabetes and – and other diseased because they can't get the care they need."
The RxRelief Cards promoted by Jakes have no fees. There is no charge to use the cards and they can be utilized at major pharmacies across the country such as Duane Reade, CVS, and RiteAid, according to the website of "Connections by T.D. Jakes," which features what appears to be a cross in its logo.
"Its my prayer that we are all able to have life and have it more abundantly. May this RxRelief Card get us one step closer to that mission," Jakes said in the promotional video for the prescription drug discount card. "Do a good deed and tell your friends you can save a lot of money, but more importantly you may be able to afford to save a life, even your own."
Jakes' church is home to about 30,000 members and his popular sermons are broadcast both nationally and internationally.